State Failing Communities Via Prisons

Posted: April 13, 2014 at 5 a.m.

The most infamous reaction to Arkansas' penchant for burdening local jails with state inmates -- and paying far less than it costs to house them once the state eventually gets around to writing a check -- was by a sheriff in Pulaski County. Tommy Robinson, grew so weary of the state's inattention to his county's overcrowding that he loaded up 18 state inmates, drove them to the state prison in Pine Bluff and chained them to a fence outside the penitentiary. He also marshalled a group of about three dozen deputies to surround the Pulaski County jail to ensure the state didn't return those prisoners.

What’s The Point?

The state of Arkansas is placing too much pressure on county jails burdened by the presence of state inmates the prison system has no capacity to handle. State policy-makers cannot responsibly allow the situation to continue.

This story is only available from our archives.